Kawann Short to Panthers: How Does DT Fit with Carolina?

Charles EdwardsContributor IApril 26, 2013

October 6, 2012; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Purdue Boilermakers defensive tackle Kawann Short (93) before the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Ross Ade Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Sandra Dukes-US PRESSwIRE
Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers entered the second round feeling pretty good and when it was their turn to pick, they had several options.  They could have gone defensive back, wide receiver or offensive line. Instead, the Panthers chose to stay with the defensive line and double-dipped at defensive tackle by selecting Kawann Short.  

While his selection may raise a few eyebrows following the first round pick of Star Lotulelei, Dave Gettleman remained true to form and loaded up the Carolina defensive line.  This may not be the most glamorous pick but Short allows the Panthers to have a line that can be effective even when they install their role players.  

Short allows Carolina to have a long-term solution at defensive tackle even though Dwan Edwards is signed for two years.  Essentially, the Panthers will field one of the youngest and most talented lines in the league, creating problems for teams who want to run the ball.

At 6'3" and 299 pounds, Short is a big-bodied defensive tackle who has a lot of power, maintains the right kind of attitude teams love and is the type who will challenge offensive linemen.  He played special teams while at Purdue so he could give the Panthers a solid presence in that aspect of the game.

Some people may feel Carolina has committed a bit of an overkill on the defensive line, especially those reeling from the two defensive-tackle picks from a couple years ago that saw Terrell McClain and Sione Fua taken in the same round but never panned out.  

However, those with reservations about the selection of Short can rest easy because Short is an ideal pick in the second, and with the Panthers struggling against stopping the run in recent years, the presence of Short and Lotulelei will return the line to prominence.  

It's still too early to tell how well this pick will turn out, but the duo of Lotulelei and Short should do a lot of damage with Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy helping from the outside.  The division rivals in the NFC South will not enjoy playing the Panthers as much, and trying to employ double teams will be nearly impossible.